Thursday, April 27, 2006

Some more things I love about Taos...

Sunsets like that one are just not that unusual. Really.

Christina's dog Tatou.... in my hat. She's a sweetie, and a real mama's girl.

And most of all, Christina. And how about that machine she's standing in front of? That's at a very strange junkyard in Manassa, Colorado, not far from Taos. We could never find the proprietor, so we just walked around his yards. I think I'll be going back there soon.

So after dropping the containers onto the land and then spending a day or two working on the land (starting to put up a fence) I took the train back to LA. Meanwhile, Christina got the process of getting the electricity run out to our land started. I loaded the new forklift onto the new trailer and put a few other things that I had to unload from the containers onto my truck and headed back to Taos. I spent two days in Taos helping Christina pick up her new Power Hammer, then took the (damn) train back to LA again. I picked up a 22ft rental truck and loaded it pretty damn full of more stuff that had to come out of the containers. In fact, I went to a truck scale before leaving LA and learned that my gross vehicle weight was 30,780 pounds, putting me 4,780 pounds past the rated load capacity of the truck and the legal limit for driving without a Commercial Driver's License. Needless to say, I observed the speed limit and avoided all weigh stations. I unloaded the truck in the wind and dust and then returned it. Sounds like fun, huh?

But the good news is that I've actually moved enough stuff to Taos now that I'm actually under no time pressure to go back to LA. I've still got probably two more trips (at least) to go, but all that stuff is in low-cost storage, so the pressure is off.

For the first time, I actually feel like I live in Taos. Wow. I moved.

OK, yes, right. It's been forever since I blogged last. Certainly forever in blog time, anyway. Sorry.

A lot has happened since then. And, in a way, not much has happened. Basically, I've travelled a lot and I've moved a lot of shit to Taos.

While the containers were being trucked to Taos, I took a train to Albuquerque. I did this instead of driving because I didn't want my truck to break down on the way and leave me stranded and unable to supervise the off-load. Unfortunately Christina was in southern New Mexico working on a movie, so I'd have to get up to Taos and handle things by myself. But.... when I walked out of the train station... guess who was waiting for me? That was an amazing surprise.

So Christina and I went up to Taos and handled the off-load the next day. This went a hell of a lot smoother than the on-load. I have to say it was pretty damn cool to see the containers sitting on my land. And actually it's pretty damn cool just to say "my land." I say it a lot.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Monday, April 3rd, the day I had the containers loaded onto trucks, was the worst single day of this whole move so far.

All three shipping containers were too heavily loaded. The legal load limit for what the big-rig trucks could carry was approximately 48,000 lbs. The first container to be loaded, the forty-footer, which I had estimated to weigh between 30 and 35 thousand pounds, actually weighed in at over 50,000. So, in the rain, while the $170/hr crane guy and the two truckers waited, I unloaded 2500 lbs. It only got worse from there…..

The second container, a twenty-footer, which I estimated at 25,000 lbs, actually weighed 36,000. I removed 9,000 pounds from this one. And the last one, which needed to come in at no more than 20,000 or so, weighed in at 32,000. When John, the crane guy, told me this, I almost broke. I had to remove 12,000 lbs, while they all waited and it rained on me and my stuff.

All told, I removed over 23,000 lbs from three containers. That’s 11.5 tons of stuff that didn’t make it to New Mexico and is still sitting in LA. The crane rental cost twice what I’d estimated it would because it took twice as long as I’d thought. And crane rental isn’t cheap.

I just barely made it onto the train which would take me on an overnight trip to Albuquerque, and when I did finally settle in to my seat, I realized I’d lost my cell phone. To put it euphemistically, I sort of lost it.